maanantai 17. joulukuuta 2012

1790s open robe

Yesterday I finished the 1790s open robe to go with the round gown I made. The robe was originally that of à la francaise variety, but having had it float around half finished for months on end, and no prospects of ever finishing it let alone wearing it, I decided to give it a new life. Lucky thing with the francaises is that they take up massive amounts of fabric, so I definitely had more than enough to go around.

I used the Janet Arnold pattern, only with slight tweaks in the back piece and slightly shorter train; I just don't hold with trains, they may look cool when you're standing indoors, but try walking around the streets and lawns and it's a mess. I have a little trainage though, just enough for the robe to look the part :) I still need to put some hooks and bars to close the robe in front and I might embroider the front edges, but for now, it's wearable.

So, the round gown, the open robe on top, teamed with long mitts and a shawl I knitted (the mitts inspired by similar ones from 1820-30 in V&A, and the shawl after an Estonian pattern), plus a "Marianne Dashwood" hat. And a book, since it was Jane Austen's birthday when I was taking the photos. Northanger Abbey accessorised the outfit perfectly :)

Trying on the whole "Marianne Dashwood at Delaford picnic" look

I really need to figure out the hair; 1790s look would call for a massive curly do,  so there's still some way to go to achieve that...

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tiistai 4. joulukuuta 2012

1790s round gown after Tidens Toj pattern

Hahaa! Few weeks ago I found out that the Danish National Museum's Tidens Toj page was up and running again, after a long time inactive. So, I rushed to print out the pattern for the white 1790s round gown and for once I was even lucky enough to find a suitable fabric for it. I used the pattern mainly as guidelines, so the bodice in my gown is a bit different to the original gown. I decided to use my drop-front dress bodice pattern as the base bodice (the one with lacing in the original pattern), mainly because I know it fits me well and that way I didn't have to fiddle with fitting and stuff. I also chose to leave out the pleating on the bodice back, because my fabric is embroidered all over and the pleats would've been odd and bulky. So then it was just to cut the hem, the sleeves and the bodice fronts which were pleated to the shoulders. A very nice project it was too, and I like the result. I'm making an open robe to go with it, after the Janet Arnold pattern, what else : )
I chose to leave out the lacing and instead just pin the bodice flaps like on a drop front gown.

Here I'm showing how the front of the dress is not attached to the base bodice. Also, I cut the centre front slit shorter than on the original gown, wanting to make it look tidier.

Tying the ribbons that close the dress

I had to add a little separate piece to the neck, because the bodice fronts were a tad too short to meet at the back...

I'm fairly pleased with the dress, I just need to make another petticoat to its measurements; the one I have on is too long.

No pleating on the bodice back, purely because of the fabric I used.

A construction photo of the bodice fronts, I sewed a rolled hem on the front edges; the other edge was topstitched on the bodice.

The gown fabric is embroidered thin cotton batiste (I think).

lauantai 17. marraskuuta 2012

Finished sari gown

Today I finally finished the sari gown I started a while back. I'm fairly pleased with the results even though the turquoise gown bodice kept giving me grief and I had to adjust it three times, and it still doesn't fit right. Ah, well, once the open robe is worn on top of it there's none the wiser what is hidden underneath... :) The gown and the robe are very nice and light on, and I just can't wait for Jane Austen Festival again to get to wear it. Here are some photos I took today.

Another drop front gown. I'm not sure if I should add the ribbons to tie the drop front; now it's just pinned on and it's working fine.

This is absolutely the first and last time I'll use a sari blouse for bodice. It just doesn't fit right, whatever you do :P

I whipped up a turban using the left-over scraps of gown fabric.

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From this.... this!

Originally, this fashion plate picture inspired me a lot.

...Here's my version of it :)

lauantai 10. marraskuuta 2012

About aprons

I took a little turn to more common, everyday 18th century clothes with the black print swallow tail jacket and the red petticoat, so an apron was a natural accessory to them.
Trying on the clothes. The jacket still needs a stomacher and lacing.

 I made a black apron out of cotton batiste. Yes, I know, not very practical, but to me, the colour and the connotations of the apron itself were more important. I found some interesting facts when I was looking into apronwearing in history.
For example there are notes on estate records from the 17th century about middle and rural class women wearing aprons; of course an apron as a piece of clothing goes back to Iron Age and beyond. Usually the aprons of 17th and 18th century were made of bought, not homemade fabrics, and especially the Sunday apron (aka. the "better" apron) was an important purchase for rural women both in Finland and in Sweden. Usually these aprons were black or green, though in Central Finland and Southern Finland print patterned linen was the choice fabric for aprons. These characteristics are still represented in the different regional national costumes in Finland.

Finnish national costume of the Kokkola area, designed after late 18th century estate records

As always there were also luxury laws that restricted the fashions, for example in the 17th century it was forbidden to decorate your apron with lace; caps and kerchiefs, yes, but not the aprons.

18th century aprons, the upper class versions, Leloir's Histoire du Costume 1678-1725

The oldest types of Finnish aprons were narrow and fairly short cotton aprons that were copied from the fashions that the upper classes sported. Usually a woman would have had everyday aprons for work and then one or more finer aprons for special occasions.

Finnish national costume from Vehkalahti region. Also this vertically striped apron was a popular fashion.

The connotations and beliefs connected to the apron were very versatile; as a rule, an apron was a symbol of a good woman and a mother, proof of her as a domestic, hard working, careful, modest, and patriotic person. According to Scandinavian folk beliefs, the most important aspect of the apron was not to protect the woman's clothes, but her reproductive organs. A pregnant woman could not go around in public without an apron because the pregnancy had to be protected from an evil eye. To meet a pregnant woman with no apron was very unlucky, she was thought to radiate bad energy with no protection.

Aprons were also used as talismans and for domestic spells. To keep the cows from running away the woman of the house would tie her kitchen apron at the cow byre door. In order to get a farm animal pregnant it helped to tie a pregnant woman's apron around the animal's neck. 
Also, surprisingly, patching up an apron was allowed only to older women who were past their prime and who had entered spinsterhood. It was thought that  to use or fix such broken talismans would cause other women to stray from what was good and proper. The same would happen if you lost or accidentally dropped your apron.

Finnish national costume from Masku region near Turku

Terttu Lehtimäki:, 
Sari Miettunen:, interview with costume researcher Outi Sipilä.

sunnuntai 28. lokakuuta 2012

Burgundy drop front dress

Today I finally finished a dress that has been lying around for quite some time. Before the Bath trip I found nice burgundy cotton with a black print pattern and I made a drop front gown out of it. Then I got distracted, had stuff to finish for Bath and... But now it's ready! I really like it, the hem has massive amount of fabric pleated, so it's maybe more of an early 19th century fashion than anything else. I used my basic bodice pattern, the same as for the white embroidered dress, but with drop front adjustments. I also found The Hungarican Chick's tutorial on bib front gowns(aka drop front gowns) very helpful. As always, everything is handsewn, and the fabric worked like a dream, it's stiff enough to hold its shape and pleats nicely, but so thin that pleating doesn't make the dress look bulky. I might add some ribbons to tie the cuffs a bit tighter, but I ran out of ribbon for now.

First, pin the front flaps closed...

Then tie the ribbons of the drop front bit. I chose to hide the knot/bow under the bib.

The ribbons cross at the back and pass through little loops that help hold the ribbons in place.

All pinned.

I love the hem!

I made me a "Marianne Dashwood" hat :)

Works with the bonnet too.

The pleats

Some posing with my harp.